Summary: 80s fashion was about bold outfits, bright colors, chunky, overstated jewelry, and a make-it-large attitude. Some of these favorite nostalgic trends are set to return this summer with a modern twist, minus the outrageous elements for good. Designers can look forward to refining these themes with carefully chosen fabrics.
The fashion week showcases of last autumn showed what the summer of 2023 has in store. And, yes, designs that have been flirting with the 80s fashion trends may see a full-blown affair with moto jackets, oversized blazers, slouch boots, and chunky jewelry. From young designers to established fashion houses, enough snippets foretell a summer laden with 80s nostalgia.
The decade that was famous for opulence and excesses in fashion has slowly come back in the form of bike jackets and miniskirts which have found favor because of their simplicity. Summer fashion will see it go up a notch. They'll embrace the drama of laces and shoulder pads for a larger-than-life appeal. It’s not that suffocating leotards are making a return; thankfully fashion is still in the comfort zone. So, the best part of the decade is set to influence fashion trends in Summer 2023.
Here is a pick of fashion trends inspired by the '80s that shall rule this summer:
When it comes to 80s fashion, the more laces, the better. When Madonna came out with her hit “Like a Virgin”, lace dresses and gloves became pop stars’ favorite. It then caught on with the younger generations later, making the fabric the toast of summer fashion in the '80s. The trend is back on the popularity charts with a twist on contemporary style. Designers would be tempted to use it profusely around the neck and arms. The overall layered lace top for evening wear is another trend to watch out for.
In the 80s, power suits became a feminist symbol for women making their mark in the traditionally male bastion. More recently, it is blurring the lines of male and female fashion. Power suits in their lines and structure now no longer convey the power of women rising through their ranks. Cool flannel linings could be the highlight of the trend.
Shoulder pads go hand in hand with the power suit trend of the 80s. At that time, it was used to give masculine power to the female silhouette. Now it takes a more relaxed shape as if trying to reject the work-from-home loungewear. Designers can take liberty with the width of the pads, it can be wider and thicker.
Who can forget the acid-washed denim trends of the past, the full-on ensemble made famous by Dolly Parton? Brands can go full throttle with overalls or go subtle with understated skirts in brighter colors instead of indigo.
These dresses featured prominently in all the major couture shows last year. That is a signal enough that hooded dresses, the darling of the 80s, are on a major comeback trail. They are sleek and regal and also open for iterations for street fashion.
The fabric trend this summer will take a curious turn with rising temperatures across the globe. Cooler and breathable fabrics shall score when comfort in fashion is the norm. Over the last four decades, the fabric options have expanded. Aside from the laces, the sheers and flannel should be taking center stage in the fashion trends of 2023.
Cotton, of course, remains the staple of any summer fashion. Brands would do well to include the sustainability factor in their purchase. Sourcing certified organic cotton can command a good price for the final outfit if marketed well.
With the acid-washed look of 80s fashion set to make a return, the heavy use of harmful chemicals is a strict no-no. Brands should explore other greener means to give the acid-washed look to denim. A denim twill line with a softer feel and a perfect amount of stretching is another option that is developing.
The sheer trend is on a strong comeback trail. Designers should look out for sheers in pastel and beige for their collections. The synthetic blend can be a bit uncomfortable in summer, so chiffon and georgettes should be the preferred choice for sheer dresses and tops. Tulle skirts are another great way to welcome summer.
Made from flax fibers, this fabric should continue to be in demand for shirts and pants as a summer staple. It is one of the most breathable materials and just right for summer baggy pants. For straight-to-market brands, it could be the most in-demand fabric after cotton.
Even as winter is taking its final lap, the opulence of the 80s is set to return in a more subdued form. Brands can work on giving the key elements of the 80s fashion trends a finesse in their summer collection. The hunt for sustainable options for fabric should be an ongoing exercise that brands cannot let up on.